Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 329–340 | Cite as

The effect of body size on post-exercise physiology in largemouth bass



Variation in individual size has important consequences for a number of characteristics of fish, which can impact fish populations. The impact of fish size on recovery following exercise, however, is poorly understood, with little information existing on the recovery of ionic/osmotic variables. The goal of this study was to quantify not only how allometry impacts the magnitude of physiological disturbance following burst exercise in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), but also how allometry impacts the time required for exercise-induced disturbances to return to baseline levels. To accomplish this goal, two size classes of largemouth bass (large = 772–1,441 g total weight, mean = 1,125 g; small = 93–238 g, mean = 148 g) were exercised for 60 s and allowed to recover for 0, 1, 2, or 4 h before being sampled for plasma and white muscle. Large largemouth bass exhibited elevated concentrations of plasma glucose and sodium relative to small fish following a common exercise challenge. Large fish required additional time to clear metabolic disturbances in plasma and failed to restore potassium to basal levels even following 4 h of recovery, indicating an improved ability of the smaller fish to recover from disturbances. Results are further discussed in the context of physiological ecology and fitness for largemouth bass.


Stress Disturbance Recovery Allometry Scaling 



All of the experiments described in this study were conducted in accordance with the regulations and policies of the University of Illinois Office of Laboratory Animal Research (Protocol # 07080). This project was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service by McIntire-Stennis funds through project ILLU-875-328. Matt Diana and Lisa Einfalt, on staff at the Kaskaskia Biological Station, assisted with the capture and husbandry of fish, while Dave Wahl and Dave Philipp provided comments and insights on earlier drafts of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ScienceUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Douglas County Public Utility DistrictEast WenatcheeUSA

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